It Is Darkest Just Before The Dawn
I believe the phrase is “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. I think the person who wrote this phrase must have been in business or must have been going for some other big dream, because you can’t be successful without a trial by fire. You must go through the bad times, the dark days, and be tested. You have to pay your dues like everyone else. People will be negative. Your best customer will move away or decide to buy from someone else. You will find out that you forgot to pay a big important bill. All kinds of things happen. If you are going through your dark days, find comfort in knowing that you are probably on the verge of a huge success. You just have to keep a positive attitude and treat everyone like they are about to give you a million dollars.
In our first business, you might think that we had instant success because our activity level just shot through the roof. The truth is that you have to spend money ahead of making money, and we spent much more than we made to support the activity level we had. It was pretty scary. We had faith that the sales would come around and they did, but there was the ever-present risk that it wouldn’t.
Sometimes you do get to that place in your business where you have to put it all on the line to get the next round of growth. Bob Parsons decided to put it all on the line for GoDaddy by buying expensive advertising during the Superbowl. DesignAShirt.com founder John Anton (I attended high school with John) got a $300,000 home equity loan to buy t-shirts for his business because he was concerned about rising cotton prices. Several times Howard Hughes borrowed money against all of his assets to do something for his business he knew was the right thing to do. You might imagine that each of these gentleman have balls of steel, but I am sure they were afraid out of their minds when they did these things.
When things are bad, you may need to spend a little time deciding if you need to change your approach. If not, just keep doing what you are doing and be confident in your ability to rise above the problems. You can do it!